AFRICA – Palma – The new ‘gem’ of Mozambique

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Palma is one of the most northern cities in Mozambique and is somewhat overlooked by the majority of the property market. It is, however, strategically identified as a critical avenue of gas exportation. It is a city that has many potential benefits to be explored as the last frontier of ‘untapped future potential’.

Palma has already been explored by the major property developers of Mozambique as a somewhat ‘hit-and-miss’ destination with some developers already failing spectacularly in order to gain in on this market, with other developers having to re-adjust their sights and create projects needed by the market on a conceptual basis.

Palma is a shining example of what positive effects the natural gas discovery will have on towns such as these. Before this Palma was simply a small forgotten town in terms of the global landscape, but now due to the gas and proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) site it is set to become a feature on the world stage benefiting the economy of Mozambique tremendously. This will allow for subsidiary industries and real estate developers to capitalize on the new opportunities that now exist.

With over US$30 billion earmarked for the ports of Palma and Pemba for the logistic and LNG plants to cater to the Rovuma basin, they are only expected to have their first official exports in 2018.

Although there is a debate between Italian company, ENI, and the Mozambican Government to determine whether an offshore floating LNG plant or onshore plant shall be constructed, it will have a direct effect on the subsidiary industries associated the natural gas, especially that of the property sector in terms of housing and office provisions, which are currently short to non-existent in Palma.

The immediate direct benefits for an onshore facility will result in the creation of 10, 000 – 15, 000 jobs, This will have an enormous impact for property developers biding their time, as this presents new workforces in which to house and provide a variety of accommodation, retail and commercial activities.

The construction of the already visible works on road infrastructure and power lines show signs that the foundations are being laid, while the building of the proposed industrial infrastructure is most likely to start in 2017.

“Palma is a shining example of what the positive effects of the natural gas discovery will have on towns such as these.”

The town of Palma, and neighbouring Pemba, are seen as long-term strategies housing these large LNG facilities that over the next 25 years will stimulate the economy tremendously. Most importantly Palma, once a forgotten town, will be placed at the forefront of not only the property sector but the country of Mozambique as a whole, as many infrastructure and construction projects will need to take place in order to build up the previously dusty roads to satisfy the population influx this area is set to experience.
It is noted that much depends on government timelines in executing projects and an efficient legislative regime for the exportation of the natural gases, as this seems to have placed many real estate developers in a level of uncertainty on the future of the potentially rich areas. However, once in full effect, will see a ‘gold rush’ of developers and associated industries ready to stake their claim in the town of Palma.

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